SpaceX launched its Transporter-9 mission on Saturday (Nov. 11), a 'rideshare' flight that lofted 90 payloads into orbit.
A Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from California's Vandenberg Space Force Base at 1:49 p.m. EST (1849 GMT; 10:49 a.m. local California time), kicking off the Transporter-9 mission.
The Falcon 9's first stage came back to Earth for a vertical touchdown at Vandenberg about 7.5 minutes after liftoff. It was the 12th launch and landing for this particular booster, according to a SpaceX mission description.
The mission carried 90 payloads for a variety of different customers, "including cubesats, microsats, and orbital transfer vehicles carrying spacecraft to be deployed at a later time," the mission description reads.
These payloads will be deployed into low Earth orbit between 54 and 85.5 minutes after liftoff, according to the mission description.
Ninety is a hefty number to be sure, but it isn't close to a record. SpaceX's Transporter-1 mission holds the mark, sending 143 satellites to orbit in January 2021. And Transporter-6, which lifted off this past January, was also more prolific, carrying 114 satellites aloft.
Transporter-9 is the 82nd orbital mission for SpaceX in 2023, extending the company's record for a single year. (The previous mark, 61 launches, was set in 2022.) Most of this year's missions have been devoted to building out Starlink, SpaceX's internet megaconstellation, which currently consist of more than 5,000 operational satellites.